Senior civil engineering student William Angiolillo represented Villanova Engineering at an invitation-only student poster presentation that was part of this year’s annual Engineers Week Luncheon, hosted by the Engineers Club of Philadelphia. The luncheon, held this year on February 17 in Philadelphia, also featured an Awards and Proclamation program. His research, which involved investigating the design of vados, or culvert bridges, in Panama also earned him an “Undergraduate Student Paper Award.”
“I was very excited to learn that my paper was being recognized by such a well-respected engineering society,” says Angiolillo.
Angiolillo introduced attendees at the poster session to his work, which is one facet of a larger water resources master plan for rural Panama that faculty and students in the College of Engineering are piecing together. He has been working to help redesign local vados, which are intended to mitigate overflow of water from rivers onto streets and stream-crossings. As they are currently designed, water flows through large culverts below the bridge. Large, protruding triangular structures, called the “Fingers of God,” are also built into the vados to prevent obstructions and debris from flowing through the culverts.
However, wet season storms often prompt small streams to flood and occasionally cause bridges and stream-crossings to become impassible. Drawing on first-hand experience in Panama and a series of photos taken on-site, Angiolillo developed a series of scale models designed to prevent failure. He used a sedimentation flume to emulate how the vado would naturally respond to erosion and tested how different sized culverts affect water flow and sediment accumulation.
According to Angiolillo, many of the attendees were interested to learn about the College of Engineering’s longstanding commitment to service engineering in Panama and other parts of the developing world.
Frank Falcone, P.E., Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, attended the event to support Angiolillo. Fellow civil engineering student Nicholas Mascitelli CE ’12 was also recognized for his undergraduate research, entitled "Serviceability and Elastic Behavior of Alkali-Activated Fly Ash Concrete." Click here for more information about Mascitelli’s work.
The Engineers Club of Philadelphia also named Catherine G. Farrell, P.E., CE’03, MSCE ’06 the “Young Engineer of the Year.” Now an assistant project manager in the transportation department at Michael Baker Jr., Inc. in Horsham, Pa., Farrell has worked on roadway, highway, and trail jobs for PennDOT, townships, and community groups in the Philadelphia area. She has extensive design experience in horizontal and vertical geometry, safety studies, ADA compliant curb ramps, guide rail design, contour/grading, and the preparation of construction and right of way plans. She has also led coordination efforts with utilities and public agencies, including interaction with community stakeholders at public meetings.